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  May 23, 2006   Malware spread through instant messaging programs on the rise.

Several security firms announced a few days ago  that a worm, dubbed "Yhoo32.explr" by  Instant Message  security vendor FaceTime Communications and "Browaf" by Symantec is installed when Yahoo users click on a malicious link embedded within an instant message.

This Yahoo IM Worm Hijacks browsers and plays extremely unpleasant Music

Yhoo32.explr downloads and installs a phony feature named "Safety Browser," which adds an IE-like icon to the desktop. When used, it redirects to sites where users PCs are infected with adware and spyware.

The worm hijacks Internet Explorer's home page, directing users to the Safety Browser's Web site. The user cannot uninstall the program.

According to security experts, PC users should watch for links in the message box of IM, which may say "Goat_Ensem Bot" with a smiley. If the user clicks the link, at least one warning will be displayed to tell the user that software is about to be downloaded or installed and that this may be malicious. IM users are advised not to click unexpected or un-requested links.

FaceTime has posted screenshots and a comprehensive description of the infection process
 on its May 19 blog posting at

If you’re a Yahoo Instant Message'er, it’s worth your time to check this blog Post so you’ll know what to avoid. And do your Yahoo and other IM and Chat Room buddies a big favor by warning them, too.



  To TOP

  May 20, 2006     There's Danger lurking behind some innocent looking search terms

Where would you look if you wanted to change your screensaver for a new one, or select a different ringtone for your mobile phone? Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, of course. And with thousands of sources for free downloads and hundreds of thousands of results from your search, it's no wonder that unscrupulous websites have infected some of the free downloads with spyware, spam, and dangerous downloads.
According to a report from BBC News, the search term "free scareensavers"  produced search results where two thirds of those sites caused problems.
A  British research group entered nearly 1400 popular search terms into a half dozen search engines and identified 8 of the most dangerous Search Words. The most dangerous search term  was "free screensavers." The 8 Most Dangerous Search Terms are:

Free screensavers Limewire *
Bearshare * Download Yahoo Messinger
Screensavers Lime Wire *
Winmx * Free Ringtones
                    (*) File Sharing Software

Using security flaws and loopholes in the browsers, some websites install hidden software which can allow the PC to be hijacked or lead to the loss of personal data. The BBC reported  that among all of the searches, up to 6 percent of the sites were flagged as dangerous. 

Does this mean that we shouldn't search for free downloads? Not really. But it does mean that we have to be diligent, download from recognized vendors whenever possible, and have all of our security software up-to-date - firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware.

                                                                                               ... Richard


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  May 14, 2006         Tell Congress to preserve the free and open Internet today.

 Do you buy books online, use Google, or download to an Ipod? These activities, plus MoveOn's* online organizing ability, will be hurt if Congress passes a radical law that gives giant corporations more control over the Internet.
The House of Representatives will soon vote on whether or not to preserve Internet freedom—and our fight to protect Network Neutrality is gaining huge momentum.
Google, Amazon, MoveOn, Gun Owners of America. All these entities are fighting back as Congress tries to pass a law giving a few corporations the power to end the free and open Internet as we know it.
Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet's First Amendment. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more. Amazon doesn't have to outbid Barnes & Noble for the right to work more properly on your computer.
If Net Neutrality is gutted, MoveOn either pays protection money to dominant Internet providers or risks that online activism tools don't work for members. Amazon and Google either pay protection money or risk that their websites process slowly on your computer. That why these high-tech pioneers are joining the fight to protect Network Neutrality[1]--and you can do your part today.
The Coalition now has 524 member organizations, 637,386 petition signatures to Congress, 3,251 blog links, and 5,634 MySpace friends. We will only win this fight if the public is mobilized, Congress is bombarded from all angles, and word spreads around the Internet like prairie fire.
The free and open Internet is under seige--can you sign this petition letting your member of Congress know you support preserving Network Neutrality? Click here to sign Petition

If all of this is news to you, you can read the background to this issue HERE

                           Thanks for participating in this Rescue effort...
                           Posting this Alert does not imply that I support
                           all of the MoveON organization's political views.
* is a member of The Coalition... which is made up of groups from across the political spectrum that have banded together to save the First Amendment of the Internet: network neutrality. No corporation or political party is funding these efforts

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  May 11, 2006       Identity Theft - Scams - Check Fraud - Free information on
                          avoiding them

Just this week, my local Bank Vice President addressed our Chamber of Commerce and reviewed the alarming increase in Identity theft, Check Fraud and phony phishing attempts - mainly aimed at susceptible senior citizen clients of his bank.

But, it's not just the Seniors who are being targeted.
How many phony E Bay and PayPal phishing attempts hit your email every day?
There's hardly a day that goes by without them appearing in my email. Added to these attempts at theft are the scams arriving by regular mail. How many lotteries have you won?
I've been advised that there are thousands of dollars in winnings waiting for me in Spain, or Argentina, or many other places that I've never visited. All I need to do to get this money is send a few thousand dollars to help the lottery agents get these winnings to me.
Yes, you bet! But the sad thing is that many - many - people are actually seduced by these scams. Our Banker reported that his organization has been able to save many of their clients from financial disaster - but only when the bearers of these scam messages check them out with knowledgeable bank employee.
Check fraud, even phony Cashier's Checks can trap the unsuspecting person. The scammers never stop devising devious ways to steal from us.

 So the message here is to be Alert, Diligent, even suspicious of anything that sounds too good to be true, or just looks to be out of place in the normal order of our lives.

And it's a reminder that you can
be armed with all of the vital information you need to secure your identity, avoid falling for the scams, know where to turn, what to do, and how to respond if you ever have the sad misfortune of becoming a victim.
You can learn it for Free from my
 "MASTER E-COURSE in IDENTITY THEFT and OTHER SCAMS" by simply  sending a blank email to There will be no commercial follow up messages.

                                                                                                ... Richard


  May 2, 2006      A breach in your personal privacy protection could easily lead to
                         hackers, online, and offline thieves stealing your identity.

The threat of Identity Loss exists on more than the Internet. The potential for the theft of our identities is everywhere around us. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself- for Free.
Nearly everyone is aware that Identity Theft is a serious crime and that people whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years - and their hard-earned money - cleaning up the mess thieves have made of their good name and credit record.
In the meantime, those victims could lose job opportunities, be refused loans, education, housing or cars, or even get arrested for crimes they didn't commit.
Daily vigilance at home, in the work place and on the internet is necessary to reduce the risk of Theft of your Identity. Scams and fraud face all of us everywhere and there is the potential of being spied upon both off the internet and on. Every Family Member should be a participant in your personal security protection efforts.
Despite our best efforts to manage the flow of personal information or to keep it to ourselves, skilled Identity Thieves use a variety of methods to gain access to our personal data.
Can we fight back? Yes! One of the best ways is to be informed of the tricks and ploys used by Identity Theft criminals and to understand how they attack.

Forewarned is Forearmed!

And you can be fully armed with all of the vital information you need to secure your identity, know where to turn, what to do, and how to respond if you ever have the sad misfortune of becoming a victim.
There's a lot to know, and you can learn it from our Free

With the generous assistance of Victor K Pryles, a popular media consultant, radio broadcaster, publisher and Author, we developed this e-course to arm  you, your family and your friends against the devastating consequences of Identity Theft
It really does cover everything you need to know to protect yourselves.
In fact, it is so meaty with USEFUL, VITAL information each lesson only arrives every four days - so you can institute what you learn AS YOU GO THRU THE LESSONS. There are eight lessons, in total.
After taking this Free course, you'll be protected, wise, savvy and safe, because you'll learn
     * How Identity Theft Occurs
     * How to prepare your defenses
     * How to tell if you're a victim
     * Immediate steps for victims to take
     * Where and How to get your free Credit Reports
       ... and so much more
To start this course immediately, simply send a blank email to
This is a Free course for followers of my Security Alert Blog, newsletter and website and you will not get any commercial announcements.
After you send your blank email to the address above, you will be sent a CONFIRMATION email. You must click the link inside to start your E-Course. This way, no one can sign you up without your knowledge.

I do hope you sign-up and share it with your family and friends. You can print each lesson and have your own hard copy of the manual, or you might prefer to share the email address above so your friends can get their own lessons. It's Free to them, too. Thank you.

If you would like the Premium Audio version of "Identity Theft & Other Scams" please visit:
                                                                                ..... Richard Rossbauer

PS. When you receive your first lesson, Victor will give you a Complimentary copy of: "The Top 501 Most Inspirational Quotes!" from his "ilovebooks" book club. In the meantime, you might like to check out some of his inspiring books in his Author's Den



  May 1, 2006                       Stinger updated as of April 5, 2006 to include
                                       protection against the
W32/Sober@MM!M681  worm.

Add this protection to your new computer — update your backup protection for your existing machines

, the Free virus checking and removal  tool (compliments of McAfee's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team -
AVERT) was updated April 5, 2006.

It's a great little program that fits neatly on a floppy disc - a perfect way to clean up your computer if a worm or other 'rogueware' has disabled your ability to get back on the Internet to update your security ware.  

Whenever updated versions becomes available, I'll post a notice here, on the Firewalls and Virus Protection website and in the Security Alert News Reporter.  Download the current version here at McAfee STINGER


                                                                                                      ... Richard


     SQUASH the Bug

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  Please let me hear from you. Your comments are really appreciated. Try to avoid anything inappropriate (hateful, abusive, explicit, etc.), they'll be deleted before posting. Please stick to the theme of "Security Awareness and Safety on the Internet'. Your email address will never be displayed and will not be shared with third parties.

                                            .... Richard Rossbauer

June, 2006  UPDATED)   Use RSS Readers to add current Web Feeds to
                             automatically update  your daily reading lists


More and more of my favorite websites, newsletters and blogs display |XML|RSS| buttons.
Now, even more display the 
Add to My Yahoo!  button. Clicking on it automatically adds that feed to my personal MyYahoo page.   If you don't have a Free 'MyYahoo' page, it's very easy to get one from the Yahoo site. The same is true for Add to Google and      
 Using  RSS feeds has saved a lot of time!, I don't have to go on a search for the latest information  published on my favorite sites -- every new bit of information, post, or announcement appears in my RSS Reader. (The new IE7 browser is expected to refer to these as "Web Feeds.")
After you put the first Web Feed into you RSS Feed Reader and have up-to-date notices delivered to you without worry about opening an email notice, you'll appreciate how great this RSS stuff really is. Try It. You'll enjoy it!.

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